New Vehicle Sales to Reach 17 Million SAAR Units in 2014

New-​vehicle sales are expected to increase 9.1 percent year-​over-​year to a total of 1.24 million units, resulting in an estimated 16.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book.  Based on the robust sales pace during the past few months, Kelley Blue Book is adjusting its sales outlook for 2014 from 16.3 million to 16.4 million.

"Following an extraordinarily strong month of sales in August, with the industry above 17 million SAAR for the first time in eight years, Kelley Blue Book expects sales to level out in September," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "Sales will remain strong and show healthy year-​over-​year improvement.  Rising incentive spend in recent months has been more than offset by increasing retail transaction prices, signaling continued consumer demand."

Compact Utility Segment Surpasses Full-​Size Truck Segment to Become Third Most Popular

The compact utility segment will continue its success in September, with an expected volume increase of 19 percent.  In fact, just this year, the compact utility segment has surpassed the full-​size pickup truck segment to become the third most popular segment in the industry, trailing mid-​size and compact cars.

"Similar to previous months, growth in the compact utility segment has come at the expense of mid-​size and compact cars," said Gutierrez.  "With market share in the mid-​size and compact car segments continually under fire and the competitive landscape stronger than ever before, consumers can expect to find great deals on the Camry, Civic and other traditional segment leaders."

Analysts report that light-​vehicle sales, excluding medium and heavy-​duty trucks, reached 11.2 million units through the end of August which is a 5.1% increase over last year.  Consumers have snapped up 1.74 million compact crossover cars while the purchases of compact cars have totaled 1.72 million units.

Some of the rise in new vehicles sales is attributed to incentives but experts note that the ratios are still lower than they were during the recession which is a good sign.

About 19% of U.S. adults will be in the market for a new car or truck in the next year. More men, 57.2%, than women, 42.8%, make up this audience.  Many of these consumers may be purchasing a new vehicle for commuting purposes. AudienceSCAN research shows that 60.2% of likely new car or truck buyers drive to work. These consumers are more likely than average to vacation in the U.S., take a trip t the beach or visit an amusement park in the next year, all activities that would make use of a new vehicle. While this audience over-​indexes with respect to taking action after seeing an out-​of-​home ad, marketers will also be able to successfully connect with them via TV or Internet banner ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.